Background: Bariatric surgery is technically demanding surgery performed on high-risk patients. Previous studies using administrative databases have shown a relationship between surgeon volume and patient outcome after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB). We examined the relationship between surgeons' annual RYGB volumes and 30-day patient outcomes at 10 centers within the United States.
Methods: The Longitudinal Assessment of Bariatric Surgery (LABS)-1 is a prospective study examining the 30-day adverse outcomes after bariatric surgery. The outcomes after RYGB were adjusted by procedure type (open versus laparoscopic), functional status, body mass index, history of deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, and obstructive sleep apnea. The data were examined to determine the nature and strength of the association between surgeon volume and patients' short-term (30-day) adverse outcomes after RYGB.
Results: The analysis included 3410 initial RYGB operations performed by 31 surgeons, 15 of whom averaged <50 cases annually. The crude composite adverse outcome (i.e., death, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, reintervention or nondischarge at day 30) incidence was 5.2%. After risk adjustment, a greater surgeon RYGB volume was associated with lower composite event rates, with a continuous relationship (i.e., varying cutpoints differentiated the composite event rates), such that for each 10-case/yr increase in volume, the risk of a composite event decreased by 10%.
Conclusion: In the LABS, the patient's risk of an adverse outcome after RYGB decreased significantly with the increase in surgeon RYGB volume (cases performed annually).
Copyright 2010 American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.